Foolishly I put my name down to take part in the story baton idea of Yo's. A great idea, the story thing, but I have never written a story that didn't end with "they all lived happily ever after" or begin with "What I did at the weekend" so I find the pressure is on, the stakes are high and I will have to rely on my natural wit, my inherent humour and my ability to run fast.
The best bits are here:
Here is the continuation of that...
"Would you like some ice with that Sir?"
He was on a plane heading to the US, unsure and confused. Confused because he didn't know which part of the US he was heading for, unsure because he wasn't sure. Questions flashed through his mind like a herd of cows running through a forest made of cheese. Questions like:
"Where would Catman and Bobbin fit in?
Why the hell did he put his name down for that story baton thing? It had seemed like a good idea at the time but, like Argentina or driving without using the horn, it was unknown territory to him.
Why was he so bad at similes? He could never quite understand them, like Michael Schumacher at fast driving or Murali at taking wickets. Damn!"
There were many other things he was certain about and, as the plane advanced on its journey, he became even more certain of them. He was sure that Keshini had hurt him too much, it wasn't necessarily her fault but it wasn't about blame and finger pointing. He'd been through love, he'd been through hate, they were opposite sides of the coin, one could easily turn into the other. Now he felt indifferent and that was a new currency. He'd listen to Keshini and try to let her find her peace, then he'd do what was right.
Zolena. She was a kindred spirit. When they met she had been on a journey. She had been enjoying the journey, admiring the scenery and soaking up the sun, but she had never decided on her destination. He had helped her choose one, she had helped him choose one too. Shan had been good for her and Zolena had been good for Shan. Some would have said they were good for each other, but they would have been people with more creativity, people who didn't have that need, the need to increase the word count.
Then, with that look that Joey from "Friends" has when he gets a slightly evil idea, Shan remembered something.
"Use quotations and new paragraphs to increase the spacing and apparent size"
He decided against it.
The other decision was made. He wanted to continue on his journey and find that island, that little part of paradise. He wanted to go with Zolena and he wanted her to want to go with him. It would take courage and fortitude and it might be painful. Not the kind of pain that all men know of, like when you get your balls caught in a chair or something but girly pain, like when Bambi's Mother died.
By now the effects of the twelve whiskies and four beers were beginning to kick in, Shan thought about having one more but he chose not to. He was a man of responsibility and even on a plane he liked to remain under the limit for driving in Sri Lanka. His mind wandered but he fought to keep it focussed. The pain was already there, it was searing through him and tearing into his soul. It got worse and he gasped for breath, he knew he had to wake up, he had to pull himself out of this.
He woke up with a start.
He twisted and moved his balls, they had got stuck in that aircraft seat crack again. Then he farted.
Ah, that felt better.
He looked to his left. His neighbour was a nun with a kind and godly face and glasses.
"Did you drop one?" she said.
"Yes, sorry about that Sister"
The nun had a deep voice and looked slightly unshaven. As nuns go this one was looking masculine and familiar. He thought he recognised her but just couldn't figure out where from.
In as relaxed a manner as possible Shan got his camera out. He needed to take a picture of the nun, he needed to show this to someone when he got back, to identify her.
But there was a problem and Shan couldn't solve it. How do you take a picture of a nun? Do you use black and white or colour? Some years ago Shan had been attacked by a herd of Zebra all reading newspapers. A passer by had taken pictures of the attack but the police had never caught the Zebra, they said the photographs didn't have enough colour.
While he was thinking on this everyday conundrum the nun turned to him
"I'd use colour, at about 800 ISO with around 1 stop of exposure compensation because of the light from the window, with maybe a bit of fill in flash just to brighten the shadows a bit"
This was clearly no ordinary nun, this was some kind of photonun. She smiled at Shan and again she appeared so familiar, so known to him. Just like the hunchback of Notre Dame, that time when he lost his grip on the rope, the face rang a bell.
"Hi I'm Shan" he said and extended his hand.
"Pleased to meet you, I'm Dominic, errm Sister Dominic, ah Sister Sansoni" she said, rather nervously.
Shan knew she looked so familiar but still couldn't place her..................
Part 6 is now here